I decided to go natural 5 years ago in 2009, but it happened by accident. After so many years of getting relaxers, I simply got tired of the burns on my scalp, the dry smelly hair, and not being able to even come close to water or moisture for fear of my hair “reverting back.” So, I simply stopped getting them. I was lucky though. I have a sister who is a licensed cosmetologist. She would braid my hair for me because I had no idea what to do with my hair!
It took me 2 years of keeping my hair in cornrows before I discovered the online natural hair community on YouTube. I found hair tutorials, product reviews, and tips and tricks that were so helpful. I can honestly say that YouTube saved my hair!
It wasn’t until 2011, that I actually started taking care of my natural hair the way I was supposed to. I started co-washing my hair, doing weekly deep conditioning, staying away from heat on my hair, and protective styling. It has been an amazing journey.
I was inspired to start this blog for many reasons. First, I was so encouraged by all the beautiful women on YouTube who shared their natural hair journeys that I just wanted to contribute to all the wonderful advice and information. I also found that there was something missing from all the online conversations. I needed to know how this natural hair movement started.
As an African American woman, I wanted to explore the historical, political, social, and personal aspects of African American hair. Throughout my hair journey, I wanted to answer so many of the questions I had:
- What started the natural hair “movement”?
- What influenced the popularity of weaves, hairpieces, and extensions?
- What messages do we get from media, family, friends, workplaces, community, hair salons, social media, etc. about African American hair?
- What are the political implications behind African American hair in the U.S.?
- What is my hair history?
So, I decided to read and learn. It was life-changing for me to understand African traditions before slavery, what happened during and after slavery, and where African American’s are today concerning our hair. It helped me understand myself, my community, and my HAIRitage. So, I wanted to share what I learned, and just like YouTube did for me, inspire someone, and start a great dialogue.
Today, I can honestly say “I love my hair!” I don’t mean to brag because I didn’t start out that way. It has taken most of my life to finally fall in love with my hair! I believe it happened when I started learning about my hair history. I am no expert on this topic by any means, but I believe I have a unique perspective that can help someone. I’m learning, I’m excited about it, and I want to share it with YOU!